Monday, October 22, 2012

Autumn Butternut Squash and Kale Rice Salad and Tuna Steaks

This autumn dinner is all about the side dish.  Not that the tuna steaks caught by the boys a few weeks ago weren't over the top, but the warm butternut squash and kale rice salad made it the autumn dinner we were looking for.  Since my daughter was in town and our Saturday consisted of our usual galavanting, I made the rice earlier in the day and prepped the kale.  When we got home I only needed to roast the vegetables and cook the tuna for a few minutes.  While we waited for the vegetables to roast, the house smelled of cinnamon and nutmeg, and we had time to  enjoy a glass a wine and an appetizer.  The perfect ending to a day of shopping.  This side dish makes enough for 6 people.  Leftovers  make a perfect lunch.  

1 cup of brown basmati rice
1/2 cup of black wild rice
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (can buy already peeled and cubed)
1 medium red onion, diced 1/4 inch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
salt & pepper
olive oil 1 tbs for squash and 1 teaspoon for kale
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 cup of sunflower seeds
4 cups of kale, rinsed and chopped
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon


Place 4 cups of chopped kale in a separate bowl and dress with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar, juice of a 1/2 lemon and salt & pepper.  Can be prepared and refrigerated a couple hours ahead of time.  The dressing will wilt the kale slightly. 

Wild Rice and Brown Basmati 

Can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.  

Soak 1/2 cup of wild rice in a cup of water for 15 minutes, drain and rinse.  Bring 1 cup of salted water to boil.  Add drained wild rice and bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes.

Heat 2 1/2 cups water to a boil.  Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Add Brown Basmati rice and bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer and cover and cook for 40-45 minutes.

Butternut Squash & Red Onion

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Peel and seed butternut squash.  Cut into 1/2 inch cubes.  Add squash and chopped red onion to  parchment paper lined, rimmed baking sheet.     Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, red pepper, agave nectar, and salt & pepper.  Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix with vegetables until coated with oil and spices.  Roast in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes until cook through and nicely browned.

Place brown basmati and wild rice in the bottom of a serving bowl.  Add roasted vegetables, dressed kale, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds.  Mix together and serve.  

Tuna Steaks

2 Yellow Fin Tuna Steaks (Sushi grade), cut 1 1/4 inches thick
Rub steaks with olive oil and salt & pepper both sides

Heat a cast iron fry pan until very hot.  Add tuna and cook for one minute and 30 seconds.  Turn over and cook for one more minute.  It should be seared on both sides and very rare in the middle.    

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